Franck Ribery Wins UEFA European Player of the Year

Lennart Preiss

What may look like an upset to outsiders is a deserving result to FC Bayern fans.

A UEFA Champions League Trophy, a Bundesliga Platter, a DFB Pokal, Bundesliga Player of the Year award, and now a UEFA Player of the Year award for Franck Ribéry.

Michel Platini shocked the world when the name on the back of the 2012/13 UEFA Player of the Year Trophy was "Ribéry", not "Messi" or even "Ronaldo."

"This is a very special moment for me. I thank my teammates, the club, the fans. We had a fantastic year at FC Bayern," said Ribéry [fcbayern.de]

The point totals were not as close as one would think. Ribéry "ran away" with the vote, collecting 36 points, with Messi collecting 13 points and Ronaldo collecting a measly 3 points.

"I would be very happy and very proud," Ribéry said [ESPN FC]. "I've already been French Footballer of the Year twice before (2007 and 2008), but have yet to receive international recognition. In that respect, it'd be great."

Ribéry scored 16 goals and assisted on 23 others in all competitions for club and country last season. Not only did he play a major role in the treble-winning season for FC Bayern München, but France also sits only one point behind Spain in Group I of UEFA World Cup Qualifying thanks largely to the 30-year-old winger.

Many will question why Lionel Messi, who scored in 19 consecutive Primera Division matches for FC Barcelona, got snubbed. Perhaps his hamstring trouble and Barcelona's inability to top Bayern in the Champions League opened the door for Ribéry to steal the crown.

Regardless, Ribéry had a fantastic season, and the fact that the members of UEFA recognized his achievements is pretty darn cool.

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